Asset-based community development


Asset-based community development

Asset-based community development is an approach to community development which advocates the use of skills and strengths that are already present within the community, rather than obtaining help from outside institutions. The phrase "asset-based" refers to a positive, "capacity-driven" approach which encourages community members to make progress for themselves, as opposed to a traditional "needs-driven" approach which makes the community dependent on institutional help. [Kretzmann, John P. and John L. McKnight, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. Evanston, IL: Institute for Policy Research, 1993.]

The first step in the process of community development is to assess the resources of a community through a capacity inventory [http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/abcd/abcdci.html (1)] or through another process of talking to the residents to determine what types of skills and experience are available to a community organization. The next step is to consult with the community and find out what improvements the residents would like to make. The final, and most challenging step, is to determine how the residents' skills can be leveraged into achieving those goals. [Ibid.]

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute [http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/abcd.html (2)] is located at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Its founders, John Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, are the major proponents of this community development philosophy.

Notes


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